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Ruling to Set New Legal Precedent for UK Victims

England's High Court will soon rule whether "pleural plaques" constitute enough of an injury to be awarded compensation in asbestos cases.

In the past, asbestos exposure lawsuits could only proceed following a concrete diagnosis of an asbestos disease like mesothelioma or asbestosis.

Pleural plaques are areas of fibrosis located on the inner surfaces of the ribcage or diaphragm and while they often lead to an asbestos disease, their presence alone does not mean a patient will later contract one.

In early 2005 the court ruled that the formation of pleural plaques can be the basis for a lawsuit but this ruling was later overturned.